Toronto Esports Dalton: “It feels great to finish the regular season on a strong note and qualifying for the LAN”
Toronto Esports ace DPS Dalton "Dalton" Bennyhoff has shocked the Overwatch Contenders community with his flashy plays a relatively wide hero pool. After Toronto Esports rise to fame during 2017’s Overwatch Contenders season, this has been a team to keep an eye on. You might recall that a majority of the Boston Uprising’s graduating class are Toronto Esports alumni. As the academy team for Boston Uprising, Toronto has followed the same mantra in the sense that they’ve begun investing in and growing talent. Dalton took some time away from practicing for the upcoming Overwatch Contenders LAN finals in Poland to answer a few questions from Esports Heaven.
How were you introduced to esports? Was this just a natural progression for someone who just enjoyed Overwatch or were you a fan of other esports previous to Overwatch?
My introduction to esports was through CS: GO. When Overwatch came out I really enjoyed the game and happened to be decently skilled at it, So, I started working my way through smaller teams up to where I am now. Playing competitively was definitely something I looked towards when I started playing.
Now that the regular season is over, how does it feel topping your group at 4-1?
It's a great feeling to finish at the top of our group despite a rough first game, we had to put in a lot of work in and out of game to achieve this.
One of the large consistent troubles that, in my opinion, many teams are having is the synergy between DPS and Tanks, mainly Winston, and the coordination of the initial dive. For example, a duo who do this very well is Profit and Gesture. Would you say that is a fair assessment? What difficulties as a DPS player do you face when trying to stay on the same page with your Winston?
I can definitely see how it is an issue for teams, the coordination of the dive is crucial to its success. One of the difficulties I have as Tracer is mostly being on the same page since communication can get pretty hectic in the middle of a fight and there is some language barrier on top of that.
A hero that made a surprising entry in the metagame has been Reaper paired primarily with a Sombra. I’d be interested to know, is that something that teams in the west have tried in practice? Do you feel like it has any merit?
We've seen quite a bit of Sombra play, but Reaper still remains a really situational and niche pick, at least from what I've observed.
I did want to touch on your Week 1 match against XL2. How big of an impact was the addition of Kruise to the lineup? Was the recruitment as last minute as it seemed or did the sudden change negatively impact the team synergistically?
I think Kruise was a good addition to the roster but also a big change in our playstyle; we only had a few days to prepare with him and I think it showed in our performance.
Week 2 seemed to be kind to you. With your strong performance against Last Night’s Leftovers, many pundits and analysts came out to bat for you. What does it feel like finally showing people what you have to offer after working so hard?
Once again it is a good feeling but I still feel like we have to keep working hard in order to achieve our end goals. At this point, the previous weeks are not really relevant. All the teams got better and the competition got harder.
Now, Toronto Esports does have a mix nationality roster, including three South Korean players as well as three native English speakers. I know this comes up a lot, but I’d like to hear it from the horse’s mouth. How would you grade the overall communication structure of the team?
Our communication flow is definitely a work in progress; both sides have to adapt to the other. For example, we need to speak slower and use simpler words to make sure calls gets across.
Many players seem to enjoy the very colorful metagame we have right now, but what is your take on the whole situation? Do you personally enjoy a meta where many different heroes are viable or would you rather having something a little more set in stone?
I feel like it is kind of a double-edged sword—having to focus on one single character or just a few makes it easier to perform, but having a larger pool to pick from is definitely more enjoyable and keeps the game interesting.
What side of the fence are you on with Sombra right now? Do you think the proposed nerfs are justified or would you go a bit more heavy-handed?
I’m not entirely sure how I would go about nerfing her more, but I think she needs a little tweaking. She is one of the most frustrating heroes to play against and forces you to change your playstyle.
How did it feel to play during the regular season against your former teammate in Panker. Do you feel like you have an edge because you know his tendencies and habits a bit more in-depth?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it an advantage since this goes both ways, Panker knows just as much about us then we do about him. Not to mention that both teams are completely revamped and there’s bound to be some drastic changes in playstyles.
You've now qualified for the Overwatch Contenders LAN finals with your 3-1 victory over NRG in the playoffs. I've got to ask, how does that accomplishment it feel?
It feels great to finish the regular season on a strong note and qualifying for the LAN, but we won't be satisfied unless we take it all.
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment, and OGN